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Byotrol is dedicated to improving lives around the world by developing and commercialising market-leading, anti-microbial technologies and products. The company specialises in high performance and regulatory-approved chemical technologies and products, especially those which challenge traditional cleaning and sanitisation methods. Based at Thornton Science Park since July 2015, the Byotrol team has received support from various University departments on site, enabling them to launch several new products, both in the UK and the US.

Byotrol was initially attracted to Thornton Science Park by the excellent laboratory facilities. The close proximity of the laboratories to Byotrol’s offices was another clear benefit to the company. Additionally, communication amongst the Byotrol team members has improved significantly, thereby enhancing business efficiency. Dr. Huw Evans, Research and Development Director at Byotrol, comments:

“The close integration of the R&D team with our Commercial and Operational teams, gives us a much sharper view on where to focus our resources to get the best result for our business. Furthermore, working within the University of Chester campus gives us access to state-of-the-art facilities which a small company like us couldn’t afford on its own.”

Since being based at Thornton, Byotrol has developed and launched INVIRTU, a non-alcohol hand sanitiser into the UK healthcare market. Launched in 2017, the product has already been adopted by over 50% of NHS hospital trusts in the UK with a new sales team appointed to drive further sales in the UK throughout professional markets.

Having worked for several years on the development and regulatory registration of a long-lasting anti-microbial surface sanitiser for the US consumer market, the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) approval was received in 2017 and state approval earlier this year. This has resulted in the launch of two new consumer products which will enter the US consumer market this month via Amazon.com and a major mass-market retailer.

Byotrol has also actively engaged with the Faculty of Science and Engineering, co-located on site. The company hosted two student placements in 2016, two summer internships in 2017 and an additional internship in Autumn 2017. The students were from a variety of degree disciplines, from microbiology to marketing. The type of work projects the students were involved in included a wide variety of projects, everything from microbiological testing to working daily with class 2 microorganisms and event management to copywriting for the company blog.

The student placements and internships were a huge success for Byotrol and raised awareness among students of the types of work carried out by the company. One student in particular, Gareth Garner, a Biomedical Science student, particularly enjoyed his time with the company. He first interacted with Byotrol whilst writing his dissertation in his third year of University. With a vested interest in infectious disease, Gareth was trained by Dr Chris Plummer in order to become efficient in microbiological procedures designed to assess antimicrobial efficacy. The following summer Gareth applied to be a summer intern at Byotrol and received further training in assessing biocidal efficacy, culturing bacteria and proper conduct in a class 2 laboratory. Gareth comments:

“The training I received was incredible. It has led to me becoming a competent scientist and has allowed me to develop professionally. Before working at Byotrol I had wanted to pursue a career in diagnostics, but after conducting my dissertation with them I was hooked and wanted to explore their sector further.”

After completing his summer internship at Byotrol, Gareth approached the company for a third time to work as a full-time paid microbiologist. He was successful and has become the newest member of the Byotrol team.

The Commercial Operations team at the University of Chester has also assisted Byotrol on their journey of expansion by providing business support services. The University of Chester is a proud delivery partner of the ERDF funded Cheshire and Warrington Business Growth Programme. This initiative aims to provide local entrepreneurs and SMEs with 12 hours of fully funded business support. By being registered on the programme, members of the Byotrol team have been able to access specialist masterclasses and workshops on topics such as digital marketing, LinkedIn and PR as well as gaining additional support in GDPR compliance.

Byotrol has experienced many notable business successes since being at Thornton. In 2017, the Company was very pleased to complete a £4.6m (net of expenses) fundraising from new and existing equity investors. The funds are being invested in sales and marketing, especially in the US, and will give Byotrol a stronger balance sheet to support commercial deal negotiation. In 2018, Byotrol supported Team Scotland in their quest to achieve gold in the 2018 Commonwealth Games by supplying their INVIRTU® hand sanitiser to all athletes and supporting staff.

Being based at Thornton Science Park has been extremely beneficial to the growth and expansion of Byotrol. Dr Huw Evans continues; “The facilities on site from the laboratories to the gym are excellent. There is so much space and growth potential for companies based at Thornton which was a major selling point for us when we were choosing a base for our offices. The University staff we have interacted with have all been enthusiastic about supporting us on our mission for growth, and we benefited significantly from all the support.”